Survivor
A Slippery Little Sucker

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And So It Endzzzzzz...

Tribal council. Jeff brings in the jury, ending with the recently booted Peih-Gee, now resplendent in her green dress. Amanda opens with her last great strategic move of the game: she decides to keep individual immunity. Jeff asks Todd about the fact that these four have been together all along. So how will he vote tonight? Todd says this will be the hardest vote of all (it HURTS, it HURTS!). So now, it's about who you want to be up against. Jeff asks Denise whether it's appropriate to boot the biggest threat, or whether that person "deserves a shot." Denise goes into a clearly prearranged speech about her position ("bottom of the totem pole," you'll recall) and how she's had a hard time breaking in. Courtney is asked whether she thinks it's fair to say Denise is an outsider, and Courtney explains -- with surprising clarity -- that everyone is outside something, and when you fixate on it, it's more your insecurity than anything else, so it's a matter of perception. Jeff asks Todd how important perceptions are -- you feel like you're on the outside or the inside, but you don't really know until voting happens. It's a fair point, I guess, though not especially interesting. Todd says the only person who should feel comfortable is Amanda. Does that mean Todd isn't sure he's safe? Todd says he hopes he's safe, but he's not sure. Jeff, still trying to get somebody to make a jerk out of herself, asks Courtney how sure she is that she's going forward. She's like, "Nobody's sure, dillweed," so he finally finds a new line of questioning.

"Denise," Jeff says, "why does it make sense to keep you tonight?" Denise says -- I swear -- "I don't know why they shouldn't vote me out." Peih-Gee makes a probably apocryphal face. Denise goes on to say that as she understands it, the theory is that she'll do better with the jury because she has kids and a sad story to tell. Wasn't the question, "Why does it make sense to keep you?" and not "Why doesn't it make sense to keep you?" Did Denise just justify her own booting? Man, it's remarkable how handy Denise is to have around if your objective is getting rid of Denise. Jeff asks Courtney why keeping her would make sense. Basically, Courtney says that she's not the type everyone will be happily congratulating on her plucky victories. She sort of manages to say "people don't like me" without either sounding proud that people don't like her or sounding depressed that people don't like her, which is tough to do. She says that no matter how people are voting, there's a good chance she'll come up short in some aspect. "Oh, and then there's my winning personality; I'm sure I've ruffled a few feathers along the way," she says.

Jeff asks Amanda whether she was in high demand this afternoon. Amanda says having immunity makes people treat you differently -- you're not in danger, so the power structure is different. Jeff asks Denise whether Amanda's vote is more important than usual tonight, or if it's "just another vote." This is where Denise decides to relay to everyone that they traded "I've got your back"s earlier in the day, and Todd raises his eyebrows slightly, like, "Eesh, really? I don't know that Amanda should have done that." That reaction strikes me as genuine. Denise ends up saying that she just hopes Amanda votes with her. Amanda, who I cannot believe would jump in here if she didn't think she were genuinely correcting Denise, because jumping in is so fraught with hazards, says that she didn't say she had Denise's back today; she said it a few days ago. At which point Todd, who is not supposed to be talking to the fucking jury, turns to them and nearly giggles and mouths, "BURN." I wonder if mouthing "BULLSHIT" at the jury would be allowed. I really wish they'd issue the "don't take this opportunity to communicate with the jury" announcements like they used to, or else they'd just clarify that everyone can talk to the jury. Amanda says to Denise, basically, that Denise knows what their conversation really was today, and Denise says, "No, I know, I understand." I'm telling you, something is wonky about that whole "I guarantee I won't vote for you" line. They're both acting here like they're recalling something much more vague than an absolute swear not to vote a certain way, and I don't know why Denise wouldn't have just pointed out that she received a guarantee of no vote, were that the truth, rather than this whole "I have your back" discussion. At any rate, Todd continues performing for the jury, making faces and encouraging them, as they -- also increasingly unable in some cases (James and Frosti in particular) to control their urge to show off for the cameras -- act like buffoons laughing at the way Amanda just had to break it to Denise that there was no back-having at this particular moment.

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